Sneakers, and How They’re Making People Rich

By Tyler Kinney
MAY 10, 2021

The Sneaker community has grown tremendously over the past few years. The global sneaker market is estimated to be worth 95.4 billion dollars by 2025 if it keeps growing at the current rate. Many people have turned a hobby into a full-time job, earning between 5 to 6 figures annually.

This fast increase has also expanded the resell market. Most sites and reports put it at around 1 billion dollars in 2019. With the sneaker market climbing in numbers so is the resale market. In just a few years the resale market is expected to be around $6 billion. 

Over the years, people of all demographics have been making a living off of limited sneakers. Kids, as young as 16 years old, have made upward of a million dollars by simply buying and flipping limited sneakers. There are a few platforms that have had a huge impact on the market. Some of these platforms are GOAT, StockX, and Grailed. These platforms allow people all around the world to connect to buy and sell sneakers. These platforms are not the only reason the sneaker market is rising so quickly, but they are definitely impacting the market. west.coast.streetwear Instagram profile with posts and stories - Picuki.comadidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black Red (2017/2020) - CP9652

Nike's Ex-VP Ann Hebert's Son Reselling Scandal, Explained | Complex
Nike's Ex-VP Ann Hebert's Son Reselling Scandal, Explained | Complex

 A young kid at the age of 15 named Jake has made north of $100,000, and he hasn’t even gotten his high school diploma! This all comes from supply and demand. Everyone can desire the limited pair, but not everyone can acquire them, therefore causing the shoe to have a margin to profit. Some shoes you can profit a few hundred dollars on, and some you can profit even a few thousand on.

Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'UNC' - Air Jordan - aq0818 148 |  GOAT

Now to get these limited shoes, you either have to be well connected, or you have to know how to get them when they release online. “The more tech-savvy teens out there have perfected the engineering of bots, too, which can complete the online checkout process faster than humans, helping them to secure rare products. ”These bots are not guaranteed to secure you a pair, but definitely raise your chances.” Additionally, they are not cheap. To purchase an elite bot software package, many have spent anywhere between 1k to 6k. 

Nike and Adidas are the two manufacturers that make these limited shoes. Although they are aware of the resale market and have tried to resist its impact on their product, they have been unsuccessful in halting the efforts of resellers.  The resale collector shoe market continues to thrive, in the battle of companies vs. resellers.